Hamas widens probe into attack targeting Palestinian Authority official

Cheryl Sanders
March 15, 2018

Economic decline in the Gaza Strip has become too steep to be tackled by Worldwide aid and also requires that the Israeli- and Egyptian-blockaded Palestinian enclave be allowed freer trade, the World Bank said on Thursday.

A senior Palestinian official on Tuesday objected to President Donald Trump's suggestion that the Palestinians have walked away from peace negotiations, saying US policies in favor of Israel have pushed the Palestinians away from any future process.

"In order for peace to be within our grasp, we must first improve the conditions on the ground to create hope and opportunity", White House envoy Jason Greenblatt told the conference.

The Palestinians have essentially cut off ties to the White House, furious over Trump's move a year ago to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the U.S. Embassy there from Tel Aviv.

He said the U.S. has lost its credibility and role as mediator after it recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and chose to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which prompted the Palestinian Authority to cut all contacts with the USA administration.

Angered by the complete overhaul of years of United States policy on Palestine, sources representing the country's interests spoke to Al Jazeera about how the Trump administration appears to want to erase the Palestinian cause and turn it into "an aid project" beneath all its claims to "fix Gaza" and restore peace in the region.

Nearly immediately, PA officials blamed Hamas for what it called a cowardly assassination attempt against its prime minister, Rami Hamdallah, who had traveled to Gaza to take part in an inauguration ceremony of a wastewater treatment plant.

After intensive efforts, the White House succeeded in what was regarded as a diplomatic coup, bringing together an Israeli delegation with representatives from a number of Arab countries, including Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah survived an assassination attempt in Gaza yesterday, the Palestinian Authority said after an explosion near his convoy.

Israel has become more alarmed about the drastic situation in Gaza, and called an emergency meeting of donors in Brussels recently to try to rally funding for development projects - such as the new water-treatment plant that Hamdallah had been traveling to visit for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Hamas denied involvement, and there was no official claim of responsibility.

Other reports by iNewsToday